Bournemouth boss Scott Parker gives contract update on Zemura and Anthony’s long-term futures

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Jordan Zemura

As Bournemouth aim to secure long-term agreements with Jordan Zemura and Jaidon Anthony, Scott Parker has insisted there ‘isn’t a better place’ for them to be.

The Cherries boss also told DorsetLive he had not personally discussed ‘in detail’ if either retain a desire to commit their long-term futures to the club.

“Not really,” said Parker on Thursday. “I’ve not really gone into detail regarding that. Those conversations happened early on. They stopped exactly where I want it. I spoke to both players. They understand and have no doubt about what I think of them.

“Even if I didn’t speak to them, I think it has been proven in the trust I’ve put in them, with both playing football matches at this football club. It is the first time they’ve ever had a consecutive run of games. But certainly, they are key players and players that I would like to try and lock down on longer-term contracts. But we would want to do that at the right time.”

Earlier this week, Zemura and Anthony had the 12-month options in their pre-existing contract exercised, with the decision, described by Parker, as offering “oxygen” for both the players and club.

The duo are yet to sign new long-term deals on the south coast, having begun discussions over a new contract at the start of the campaign. Both aged 22, Zemura and Anthony have enjoyed a breakthrough season under Parker and continue to prove influential in the side’s success to date.

Talks had been ongoing for several months and in October, Parker revealed he was keen to avoid negotiations hampering their progression on the pitch.

As first reported by DorsetLive, the club made concerted efforts to tie Zemura to a long-term deal before he went away with his country for the rescheduled Africa Cup of Nations in January. However, negotiations proved slow going, with Parker and the board keen to park discussions until the end of the season after no immediate resolution was found.

Bournemouth activating their option of a further year is set to provide security heading into the summer transfer window, with a number of Premier League clubs understood to be monitoring Zemura’s availability.

“Both have done extremely well,” continued Parker. “We’ve triggered their options and I’d like to think we’ll probably try and sit around the table at the right and convenient time, maybe at the end of the season. I’m pleased we’ve triggered their options and like to think we can sit around at the right time to talk further on that.

“I think at the beginning of the season we spoke or tried to sit down about new contracts with both those boys. I was very, very conscious and very vocal in my stance in the fact that if something couldn’t get done, I wanted to just forget about this because I didn’t want to disrupt them or they lose focus.

“They’re both young boys and have still got a very long way to go in the game. I realise distractions and worries or what the contracts should be or shouldn’t be. There might be frustration in the negotiations. I think this (the 12-month extension) probably gives a little bit of oxygen to both sides.

“As I said, we can sit down in the near future when it’s the right time and see if we can come with something a bit more long term. We’ll see.

“I’d like to see them both have long term futures here. I think it’s been shown this year the trust that I’ve put in these two boys to give them their opportunities, to give them their chance. That ultimately came down to them.

“They needed to take the opportunity, and they both grabbed it. I don’t see a better place for both at this present moment in time and I definitely see them as long term stayers here with us.”

Zemura and Anthony’s contract extensions were announced along with two other player renewals, both of whom also came through the club’s academy system. Christian Saydee and Zeno Ibsen Rossi signed new deals until June 2023 and June 2024, respectively.

Parker added: “I’m pleased that we’ve extended the boys’ contracts. They’ve done very well for us. But I think the right decision was made for them to try and get some experience as well on loan in January.

“It was a club decision to extend their contracts and see how they come out of their loans. They’re still very young in their years, so I think the next stage of their career and their loan periods will be key to them. We’ll get both back in the summer and see where we are.” – DorsetLive